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NaturallyMe's avatar

Help on dog training?

Asked by NaturallyMe (4912points) October 2nd, 2010

If a dog seems to understand the meaning of NO when you say it to them when they do something wrong, why would they do these “wrong” things when you’re not around? And how does one stop them from behaving this way when you’re not around?
Example, i’ve told my puppy many times NO when she goes near my cat’s food, she’s not allowed to eat it, so i’ve moved the kitty’s food onto the couch, but now puppy has discovered she can climb onto the couch (she’s been too small to do so previously), and now she eats the cat’s food, even after i’ve reprimanded her for eating the food on the couch one time). But when i’m not in the room, she’ll go back and do it.
And, she knows to stay out of my crafts room, because i can’t have her chewing on my crafty stuff as i often work on the floor because i need the space. Yet sometimes when i’m not around, she’d follow my kitty into the room or just walk in on her own, but when i’m in the room or sometimes not even in the room (i spy on her from down the hall, haha) she’d sit outside knowing that she’s not allowed in.
Any suggestions? Because it’s driving me nuts and testing my patience because i don’t know what i’m supposed to do.

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15 Answers

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Every friend of mine who crate trained their dog has been happy with the results. I wasn’t allowed to crate train mine and he’s a spoiled, stubborn, naughty boy. Check into it for your puppy. A friend of mine brought in a pup to join his adult cat and both of them now get along great while very rarely trespassing into each other’s stuff.

crisw's avatar

It is because dogs don’t generalize well. The pup has learned that when you are around she shouldn’t eat the cat food. That doesn’t mean at all that she “realizes” that eating cat food is “wrong”- only that it’s something she should not do while you are there. The only way that she will learn not to eat the cat food when you are not there is to have a consequence for eating it that happens whether you are there or not.

As an example, yelling at your dog for getting in the garbage only teaches the dog not to get into it when you are there. Setting up some aluminum cans to crash down and make noise if the dog gets in the garbage can happen whether or not you are there, and thus can teach the dog to avoid the garbage at all times.

Even easier? Feed the cat where the dog cannot get to the food. Close the craft room door.

tranquilsea's avatar

Crate train when you are not with the dog and when you are at home tie him to your waist. Then the dog can’t slink away and do anything he’s not supposed to. After a few months you should be able to let the dog wander on its own.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m a big advocate of crate training as well. I’ve crate trained all my puppies and had great success with it.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Oh, i thought crate training was only used for “potty” training, i haven’t really researched into that yet.
@crisw I don’t really want to close the door as my kitty likes to go in there, plus i hate closed doors when i’m at home. I’ll just try more training. :)

Tnx all.

crisw's avatar


You can always use something like a door stop so the door can only open far enough to let the cat in, or a baby gate that the cat can jump but the dog cannot.

Cruiser's avatar

Careful with the crate training for discipline issues. The crate is their safe haven and their home and it could become an issue where they equate their bed with being bad and other issues could crop up. Just work on consistent and firm “No’s” The puppy will quickly equate your no as a meaningful command as long as you are direct, firm and consistent.

crisw's avatar


You’re missing the point, I think. There’s no one to say “no” when the owner is away.

Cruiser's avatar

@crisw Not really…no is no whether you are there or not and puppies eventually get the picture with consistent training.

crisw's avatar

@Cruiser, are you a dog trainer? Have you studied animal behavior? As I have stated- dogs simply don’t generalize in that way. This isn’t just speculation; it’s been studied.

Cruiser's avatar

@crisw Studies mean squat to a dog. Treat a dog with love and respect and they will obey you. My dogs were very well behaved because they were trained by me and were taught the meaning of no. Pretty simple really.

crisw's avatar


So try leaving your dog in a room with a raw steak on the floor. Tell him “Don’t touch that steak” before you leave. See how far that gets you :>)

Cruiser's avatar

@crisw I could have put raw hamburger on the nose of my dog and gone to bed and it would still be there in the morning. Sorry but with good consistent and loving training dogs can and do learn the meaning of no.

Meego's avatar

I think you need to set rules boundaries and limitations. It will take time and you can’t try to rush something like that, but you should have a shedual for everything. I’m not sure how many times or how much your feeding your pup but some people only feed one time a day so try feeding 2 times even 3 times a day then pup may not be so hungry if that’s the case. I dont use a crate I use a gate with my dogs I give them access to any part of the household I deem them, I also walk them 45–60 minutes a day the rest of the time they sleep! Your dog also maybe eating the cat food because

a) cat food is loaded with way more vitamins and your dog may be missing an essential one having almost a deficiency you could call it, usually it’s phosphate? (I can’t remember the name of the vitamin) also found in bananas, using that as a simple treat can cure your dog from cat food, also sometimes works for the ones that like “poopy” treats.

b) just plain boredom.

If you aren’t depleted your dogs energy enough they fulfill their boredom other ways. They need social and physical fulfillment, just romping around the yard doesn’t create a bond between you and your pup. Also you get healthier 
At any rate GOOD LUCK!

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